Gayle backing Windies for T20 final
COLOMBO – Talismanic opener Chris Gayle has backed West Indies to reach the final of the World Twenty20 Championship.
The big-hitting left-hander, the hottest commodity in World T20 cricket, said he believed the Caribbean side could improve on their showing at the 2009 edition of the tournament in England when they reached the final four.
“When you look at our team, you can say we are well-balanced. In these tournaments, the best we achieved was the semi-finals in England back in 2009,” the Jamaican said here yesterday.
“We didn’t do so well when it was played at home back in 2010, so we want to get it together this time around. Once we stick to what we know, I don’t see any reason why we can’t go all the way.”
Boasting Gayle along with several other international T20 stars, West Indies have been installed as one of the favourites for the September 18 to October 7 tournament.
Off-spinner Sunil Narine, all-rounders Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard are all expected to put their immense talent in the game’s shortest version on show for the Windies.
The Caribbean side play their first official warm-up against the hosts today and Gayle said it was important for the team to start well.
“We are away from home and we have to adapt to the conditions as quickly as possible. We want to make a solid start and look to put the other teams under some pressure,” Gayle pointed out.
“I’m really looking forward to it. There are a lot of competitive teams here. Every team has a chance to win . . . there’s not going to be any walkovers. No one is going to take anyone for granted and we have to be at our best at all times.
“We want to get off to a good start and also look to be there at the end when the semi-finals and finals are played.”
West Indies have been drawn in Group B alongside Australia and Ireland and both first- round matches will be at the Premadasa Stadium.
They open against the Aussies on September 22 before taking on the Irish two days later. (CMC)